In considering ways to enhance the flexibility of your organization’s learning programs, it’s important to note that features and design approaches that add flexibility for some learners may actually pose constraints for others. For example, adding synchronous conferencing sessions may permit learners to participate in such events from home, but may be challenging due to other network and technology demands of family members simultaneously engaging in work and school activities. Making recordings available for later access and a post-completion assessment is one way to help overcome such issues, if the content and requirements allow.
Also, when learning activities become more flexible, learners must take on a greater level of responsibility for their participation and completion of instructional programs. It is a natural inclination for busy employees to postpone learning engagement due to countless demands during the day, especially if the activities are asynchronous and always readily available. Setting deadlines for course or program completion, creating “learning contracts,” and having regular check-ins on progress are possible strategies to help keep learners on track toward reaching learning and performance goals.
Through the provision of options about where, when, how, and what employees chose to learn, employees can overcome some of the time and place obstacles presented by the current COVID-19 pandemic context. Flexible learning strategies can help ensure that training opportunities are future-forward, providing the means to support learning goals and continuing professional growth during these extraordinarily challenging times.